If you’re feeling negative and about life right now, you’re not alone. The uncertainty of the future and the constant threat of change is causing more people to have mental ill health.
In fact, several studies have found that the mental health of women and young people have been hit hardest by lockdown. They found that these groups experienced symptoms such as difficulties sleeping or concentrating, problems with decision-making or feeling overwhelmed.
Being resilient and having a positive mindset is the key to coping with the challenges we are facing in our daily lives. If you can find ways to super-charge your mindset, you will be less affected by the news and more able to handle the curveballs thrown your way.
Here are 5 ways you can improve your mindset to feel and think more positively.
1) CHANGE YOUR SELF-TALK
The way we talk to ourselves can hugely influence our mindset. You could be talking about yourself negatively or commenting negatively on your life and the world around you.
Some examples of your negative self-talk could be:
“I’m an idiot”
“Why can’t I be more like them?”
“My life is so difficult right now”
“I hate working from home”
The key to changing this negativity is to interrupt the pattern – and therefore change your thinking. And it’s surprisingly easy to do!
Step 1 – become aware of your negative self-talk. Listen to the messages you are telling yourself.
Step 2 – when you hear yourself speak negatively about you, ask yourself “how could I have said that differently?”
For example, instead of saying ‘I’m an idiot”, you could say “that was silly” or “I’ll learn from that and do it differently next time”
Or, instead of saying “I hate working from home”, you could say “Working from home is challenging, however, I’m lucky to have a job right now”
The more often you interrupt your negative thinking and consider the alternative, the more you will naturally respond positively in the future.
2) SAYING POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
If you are feeling overwhelmed and unfocused, a healthy habit you can create for yourself is to say positive affirmations every morning. Saying these super positive statements can stop over-thinking and help you to feel more positive and in control. They truly do work!
Some examples of affirmations that might help you right now are:
? I accept the changes in my life right now and can handle anything the day throws at me.
? I am calm, positive and live every day in the present
? I accept what I can’t control and focus on what I can change
? I enjoy exercising, eating healthy and being kind to my body
If you’d like to use affirmations to create bigger shifts in your life, I recommend writing them in your own words that are personal to you.
I’ve written a guide to help you do that – Download it here: Creating Affirmations for a More Positive Mind
3) PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Writing down a list of what you are grateful for quite literally forces your mind to think more positively.
Start by writing a list of 10 things you are grateful for right now. If you’re feeling particularly negative about your life, you may struggle to get past 3 or 4, but keep going until you get to 10.
By the time you finish that list, you will feel noticeably more positive and happy about life!
Tip: If you are having difficulty sleeping, writing a gratitude list is helpful to do at bedtime. It gives you peace and contentment which may help you to relax.
4) LIMIT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is a great source of information for ways to live a better life, but it can also be counterintuitive. It can cause stress and anxiety by comparing and thinking you’re not doing enough – or doing it right!
Consider limiting the time you spend on social media and also the accounts you follow. If you read a post that makes you feel negative about the world or bad about yourself, could you unfollow them?
A helpful tool to use to manage your phone habits is to use the ‘screen time’ function on your smartphone to set ‘app limits’. This is a smart way to set your phone to ‘turn off’ social media apps for periods during the day or night. For example, you could set your phone to turn off all apps between 9pm and 7am.
5) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE THAT LIFT YOU UP
It doesn’t matter how much work you put in or how focused you are, if you don’t have the right people around you to lift you up and keep you motivated, you won’t reach your full potential.
Did you know that your personal energy is significantly depleted when you’re around people that you don’t connect with or are not in line with your values? ⠀⠀
Think about it the next time you spend time with someone and be aware of how you feel afterward. It might mean you decide to spend less time with them.⠀